English - Key Stage 4

English is one of the core subjects of the English Baccalaureate. For all students in Year 10 and Year 11, English means two courses leading to two distinct GCSE qualifications: English Language and English Literature.


English Language

What will I be studying?

You will follow the Eduqas English language syllabus. Three main areas are covered: reading, writing and speaking and listening.

What will I be doing in lessons?

English lessons are full of variety. The style of working will already be very familiar to you from Years 7 to 9. In Years 10 and 11, the levels of challenge will reflect higher expectations of students. Each task you are set will ultimately be preparation for examinations. Speaking and listening is assessed separately from the GCSE.

There is a strong focus on writing accurately, for extended periods of time, for different purposes and audiences. It is also essential for students to become independent and critical readers of a wide range of texts from different time periods. Responding to literary texts forms a crucial part of all English exams.

How is the course assessed?

For the English language GCSE there are two units, both externally assessed.

Unit 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

The aim of this paper is to engage students in a creative text and inspire them to write creatively themselves by reading a literature fiction text in order to consider how established writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the interest of readers.

Unit 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives

The aim of this paper is to develop students’ insights into how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think and live our lives. It will encourage students to demonstrate their skills by reading two linked sources from different time periods and genres in order to consider how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader and producing a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form in which they give their own perspective.

Unit 3: Speaking and Listening

Unit 3 is speaking and listening and is reported as a separate grade that does not contribute to the GCSE.


English Literature

What will I be studying?

You will follow the Eduqas GCSE English literature syllabus. The main aim of the literature course is to develop your ability to read, understand and respond to all types of literary text. You will study a range of literature covering prose (novels, short stories), poetry and drama. You will study a mixture of modern literature and literature that explores different cultures. You will also study the significance of Shakespeare.

What will I be doing in lessons?

Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Through the study of English literature, students will read widely for pleasure and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.

Moulsham High School encourages students to:

  • Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding and make connections across their reading
  • Read in depth, critically and evaluatively so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often
  • Appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read

How is the course assessed?

There are two externally assessed units for this qualification.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

Section A – Shakespeare: Students will answer one question on a play of their teacher's choice – probably Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B – The 19th-century novel: Students will answer one question on a 19th Century novel - probably A Christmas Carol. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry

Section A – Modern texts: Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text. This will probably be An Inspector Calls or Lord of The Flies.

Section B – Poetry: Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.

Section C – Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.